Sustainability is becoming the watchword throughout the design and building industries. Not only are more homeowners beginning to search for greener options for their homes, but more municipalities are also beginning to encourage sustainable design - in some cases including ordinances for greener practices and in other cases, offering rebates and incentives to help encourage both designers and homeowners to make the switch. So, it’s becoming more common for people to begin thinking green when it comes to larger projects. After all, larger-scale projects have more opportunities to include sustainable principles. They aren’t the only places you can include greener, more sustainable materials, and designs, however; it’s essential to think sustainably for every project, no matter how small.
Sustainability is about long-term rewards and gains, not just about what’s happening in the short term. And while many people have begun to think of home trends as something that’s only meant to last a short period, most homes and buildings don’t actually get updated as frequently as people think. So, those changes you’re making to your home now may still be part of the function and design 20, 30, or 50 years from now.
Using sustainable materials and building practices means that the home will have less of an impact on the environment, energy bills, and the health of the building’s occupants for many years. It also means that the home may not need to be updated again as quickly, as energy prices continue to rise and more cities and states put green building laws on the books.
Most importantly for you as a Pro, taking steps to ensure that you’re working in sustainable design now means that you’re poised to take on projects in the future where sustainable design becomes a more critical piece of the puzzle. In other words, by working on a green design now, you’re building your reputation and your knowledge in the field. This will play an important role later when sustainable design becomes the norm; while others scramble to get caught up, you’ll be ahead of the curve.
Filling a Niche
Many green builders take on only large-scale projects. And while there is a need for this, and those builders will certainly be in demand, there is also a need for designers and other Pros who can put sustainable practices into smaller projects as well. Many eco-minded homeowners who are tired of watching energy bills soar are looking for ways to implement sustainability into their homes. And while some of these homeowners are going to wait for larger projects to move forward, others will want to start now, either with retrofitting their existing spaces or with new work being done.
By committing yourself to work sustainably even on small projects, you fill a much-needed niche within the design and build industry. This, in turn, puts you in demand, allowing you to grow your business more aggressively and effectively by helping to separate you from the pack.
Remember, sustainable design is a growing field. It’s not a fad that’s going to fade away in five years and those Pros who can start making it a priority now are going to be in the best position to capitalize on these gains in the future.
Sustain Your Business
As newer innovations and materials continue to flood the market, more homeowners are going to have a sustainable design on the brain. By educating yourself and putting yourself in the position to meet those needs, you’ll also put yourself in a better position to grow your business and your reputation.